Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Earlier reopening for ABQ proposed

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Two Albuquerque city councilors have introduced a resolution that asks Mayor Tim Keller to devise a plan to start reopening businesses deemed nonessential during the coronavirus pandemic.

Councilors Don Harris and Brook Bassan on Sunday introduced the resolution, which argues that Albuquerque is an economic hub for the state and should have different business closure protocol. It will be taken up by the City Council on May 4.

Harris said in a phone interview that he thinks the city should take a slightly different approach than the rest of the state.

He said he wasn’t sure if Albuquerque could create legislation that would go against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s emergency public health order, which has closed nonessential businesses until May 15. But he said he wanted the city’s legal department to look into it.

“We have to reach for a better balance,” Harris said. “The governor painted with too broad of a brush.”

Some businesses that Harris said could reopen with proper social distancing procedures include liquor stores, hair salons and golf courses. But he doesn’t think places such as malls should reopen right away.

Last week, Keller told a news conference that the he was confident that some businesses could start reopening in mid-May but didn’t give a specific plan.

“We announced last week that we’re already crafting data-driven plans so that businesses can re-open and stay open while the health care system maintains capacity,” Keller spokeswoman Jessie Damazyn said in an email Sunday.”We have invited council to join us in our collaborative efforts with the state, area hospitals, and the local business community.”

Harris said the closures could lead to other public health problems, including increased domestic violence and suicide.

The resolution also calls for the city to start allowing elective medical procedures so medical facilities can pull in more revenue.

Subscribe now! Albuquerque Journal limited-time offer

Albuquerque Journal seeks stories of our community's pandemic loss

If you’ve lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like for the person to be included in an online memorial the Journal plans to publish, please email a high-resolution photo and a sentence about the person to Please email
Please include your contact information so we can verify, and your loved one’s name, age, community where they lived and something you want our readers to know about them.